December 06, 2005

The Dodgers hire Grady Little as manager.: Alright Sox fans, tell me now. What kind of collateral damage can I expect? Now is the time for the airing of grievances!!

posted by lilnemo to baseball at 06:08 PM - 24 comments

I'm serious. I didn't follow Little's tenure in Boston, so I want to know whether he can truly screw this up. Adjust your expectations for the NL West (as opposed to the AL East) where my Dodgers will be matching up against the likes of Chan Ho Park, and Russ Ortiz.

posted by lilnemo at 06:12 PM on December 06, 2005

He made one questionable decision and got fired for it. That constituted "truly screwing up".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:23 PM on December 06, 2005

That one questionable descision might be one of the biggest bone headed calls in post season history. O.K. that's hyperboly, top 5 bone headed post season calls of all time.

posted by Fade222 at 06:26 PM on December 06, 2005

well then we're in great shape, since i don't see the dodgers in the postseason any time soon xD

posted by ninjavshippo at 06:29 PM on December 06, 2005

Fade, the point is a simple one: if you fire every manager who ever made a mistake, you're quite possibly going to find yourself without any managers who meet your standard of perfection. Get it? It's the old thing about shooting the horse that can't jump the hurdle: you might end up with one helluva jumper, or you might find yourself out of horses.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:44 PM on December 06, 2005

Oh, and by the way: before that "bone headed call", there were an awful lot of people who thought that Pedro Martinez walked on water, and who would have cheerfully murdered Grady Little if he had done anything other than cave in to Petulant Pedro's wishes. I would really love to see what would have happened had Grady yanked him: maybe the reliever does the job, but maybe they lose anyway, and then Grady's fired because he yanked Pedro. Yeah, what a bonehead.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:47 PM on December 06, 2005

Are you people serious???? I guess I have a different perspective on this I pitched semi pro ball.(I know that doesn't make me the end all of all knowledge on topic) However he sure looked done to me. I'll put it this way I'm a Yankee fan and was jumping for joy when they left him in. If that doesn't say SOMETHING I don't know what does.

posted by Fade222 at 07:10 PM on December 06, 2005

Do I fault Pedro no way. Any pitcher that asks to come out is a damn coward, it's the managers job to know when he is done.

posted by Fade222 at 07:13 PM on December 06, 2005

If he left Pedro in and the Sox won, Little would have been a hero. If he took Pedro out and the Sox won, Little would have been a hero. Because the Sox lost, Little was damned for any decision.

posted by roberts at 07:28 PM on December 06, 2005

Well if Grady's wrong for "not yanking" Pedro, then who's to blame for "booting" Pedro out of town by not forking over the cash to keep him there? You can't have it both ways!

posted by Tazz1 at 07:33 PM on December 06, 2005

Let;s talk about the Dodgera little, as opposed to the Sox and Yanks. The problem with the Sox and Yanks is that they take the game too seriousely by looking for perfection. The strange thing is that they always succeed. The Sox did not succeed once (I am also a Sox fan) and we get Grady Little. Grady is not good, but he was the best option for the Dodgers with the available market, even though I liked Pinella and Howe better.Let's talk about what the Dodgers need. They need a catcher, and the only option seems to be Piazza. They need a man at first base. They need a man at third after foolishly loosing my boy Adrian Beltre, Joe Randa is expected to fill that hole. Theey need an outfielder, they are expected to get two. They will probably sign one, then trade Milton Bradley to the Pirates, and sign his replacement. They also need a starter. Apprently, that wil be filled with Matt Morris of the Cards. They also need some help in the pen, including a setup man. Izzy from the Cards could be traded for the setup position along with one reliver, but the CArds seem to be hesitant so the trade is still murky. Finally, the Dodgers wanted to sign Mark Grudzielanek, an ex-Dodger, and get him into first. However, he has opted for the Mets. I don't think he made a stupid decision because the idea of making him a first baseman is like the Dodger once wanted to make Kent a first baseman, and trhe Yankees are still hallucinting about either putting Jeter into center field so A-Rod the not-so-MVP (go Big Pappy) can return to his normal position of shortstop. Also, moving A-Rod again is not going to work, because strange things do not work twice, and you do not treat your MVP (disputed) like a minor leaguer.

posted by Joe88 at 07:59 PM on December 06, 2005

The Pedro call was just one bad pitching decision in a season full of them. Grady Little has a real problem reading his own pitchers and knowing who to bring in and when to bring them in.

posted by kokaku at 08:05 PM on December 06, 2005

Now is the time for the airing of grievances!! You asked for the airing of grievences, now you'll get 50 comments on game 7 of the world series. I will avoid that topic because it's not gonna tell you anything

  • I always kinda liked Grady Little. The way I remember it he got killed for the same thing every manager does in Boston, every move after the 7th inning when the Red Sox lose.
  • His first season was also Johnny Damon's first year and I remember the major shift in aggresiveness with men on base, something that never happened under Jimy Williams.
  • Definitely one of those guys who would rather rochambeau for a kick in the nuts than sacrifice bunt, but that was the AL.
  • It will be interesting to see how he shifts to the NL because (and this is the part where I could remember it totally wrong) I think the biggest gripe was that he left guys in too long. That's going to immediately change. I think it's also important to note that 2003 was the year of "closer by comittee" so I don't think he ever had faith in that bullpen. They got BK around the break but we all know how that goes. With the Dodgers and a healthy Gagne he's got a great 1-2 punch in Gange/Brazoben
  • Likeable guy, players don't hate him.
  • He's southern, so the accent should make Jeff Kent feel comfortable
  • Sounds like Forrest Gump, which is a plus.
I think he can succeed in LA next year, especially if the Dodgers get another starter (say David Wells). I don't see how he's any worse than Jim Fregosi, he can do a good job.

posted by YukonGold at 08:10 PM on December 06, 2005

hey joe, here's my response to your dodger notes: - nothing foolish about refusing to pay $12mil to a 3B who hit .255/19//87 w/ a .716 OPS (a .300 dive from 2004). that's hard to say, because he was a fan favorite and it means admitting depodesta did something right. - piazza can't be a full-time catcher. i'd rather have bengie molina warm the spot for russell martin for a few years than watch piazza decompose before my very eyes. we're talking 2006 mike, not 2000. bengie is also better fit because he's got the gun this team needs to control baserunners, something this team was woefully bad at all year. - i would much rather trade bradley to the A's (if there's anything to that deal) along w/ billingsley for zito, if they're willing to do more than just rent his curveball for a year. - when (if) izturis comes back from tommy john surgery in july, he will move to 2nd base and kent will move to 1st. furcal's not moving from ss, probably has a little better range, and after this surgery will definitely have more arm than izturis. i'd like to see cesar take alex cora's former spot of hitting .260, but turning enough DPs to make me feel okay about it.

posted by ninjavshippo at 08:21 PM on December 06, 2005

Here's the thing. Grady Little's conflict in Boston was because he was an old schooler who frequently went against the stats-oriented Boston Front Office. That's why he was fired more than anything else, although the Pedro incident served as a convenient excuse. The Dodgers after (foolishly, in my opinion) abandoning the so-called Moneyball direction, is looking for a good old boys manager, and Little fits the bill. At the very least, everybody will be on the same page this go around. I think he'll give the team pretty much what Jim Tracy gave the club last year. If he gives Hee Sop Choi more at bats, he'll be a slight improvement.

posted by uglatto at 11:34 PM on December 06, 2005

Grady is a good guy. Certainly a better fit for him than Boston. I look for good things from him and the Dodgers!

posted by daddisamm at 11:41 PM on December 06, 2005

I'm not sure Grady's decision was one of the top five bone-headed post-season calls in RED SOX history. As discussed, Grady didn't have much to go to in the pen that was going to be any better than what he had out there. McNamara made five worse calls in the '86 WS alone. I am curious to know why the Dodgers fans think they need a catcher. I was impressed with Dioner Navarro on both sides of the plate, but I didn't get an extensive look at him -- just a couple of games. His numbers indicate he has good discipline, doesn't strike out too much, and a .270+ average for his first meaningful bit of playing time is pretty good for a catcher.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:43 PM on December 06, 2005

hey bullpenbro: the only reason i'm at all interested in a catcher isn't because there might be anything wrong with navarro. i'm just thinking from a developmental point of view. if what i've read is true and we can expect a potentially stellar catcher to come out of the dodgers farm system in 2-3 yrs in martin, what's the point of developing another (maybe better, maybe not) younger catcher who may block martin's ascension to the big league club? i suppose you can never have too many good catchers, but i assumed navarro could be used as trade bait this winter if colletti wanted to make a move for a veteran stop-gap catcher who can help more than navarro could now. the NL west is pretty bad and another good bat or two in anyone's lineup could be the difference between 70 wins and 85 (1st round sweep in the playoffs included at no extra charge). anyway, that was my thinking, but agree w/ your analysis on navarro. in addition he does seem to manage the pitching staff well enough, too.

posted by ninjavshippo at 12:28 AM on December 07, 2005

These are two different topics. Grady could do well with the dodgers. He's had success in the past. Fans are never happy. Read bronxbanter sometime. Yankees fans called for Torre's head all season long. How many ws has he won? That said, Grady's ws blunder wasn't questionable. It was absolutely awful. This wasn't the pedro from 99 or 2000. He was a hundred pitch pitcher. He should have been taken out, no questions asked. Horrid decision. Because the Sox lost, Little was damned for any decision. That's some twisted logic ya got there. You're giving him a way out no matter what he decides. How 'bout this: Grady's decision led to the sox loss and his damnation. (one decision doesn't lose a game, but it was an important one) then who's to blame for "booting" Pedro out of town by not forking over the cash to keep him there? The sox weren't worried about pedro pitching poorly this year, or next. It was the other years they balked at. Besides, unless pedro was going to pitch relief, the season ends the same as it did. You can't have it both ways! One has nothing to do with the other. You're not making sense. I'm not sure Grady's decision was one of the top five bone-headed post-season calls in RED SOX history. As discussed, Grady didn't have much to go to in the pen that was going to be any better than what he had out there. You're wrong. In the playoffs, however, Mike Timlin, Alan Embree and Scott Williamson anchored a bullpen that posted a 1.31 ERA in 34.1 innings. The bullpen had pitched almost flawlessly. Timlin was unhittable. Just another reason Grady's decision was so incredibly bad.

posted by justgary at 12:44 AM on December 07, 2005

Does it really matter if grady sucks or not. The GM needs to get more help. Florida all but gave players away. LA's division all but watched! They spent too much time courting Furcal. Yeah, he'll improve there team, but in a division that so far is just watching, they could have made a dent. I believe Grady to be a good not great manager. That said he could still win the division for them, but that depends on the GM.

posted by injury-prone at 04:18 AM on December 07, 2005

Yukon hit it on the nose. I wanted to have a better feel for his managerial style. I hope Little maintains his weariness of the stolen base in the NL. One of the many things that frustrated Dodger fans last season was Tracy's aggressive base-running strategies. He ran the team right out of any rallies. We don't need a catcher. Navarro will be a nice bridge to Martin when he's ready. And for the love of God, don't offer Phillips arbitration. I've already discussed other positions elsewhere. But coming back to pitching, there is no way in hell the Dodgers give up Billingsley in a Bradley/Zito swap. The A's will ask, but he's not going. The Dodgers farm system was pretty dry after the string of ROYs, and DePodesta did a good job of acquiring talent without giving up the farm during his tenure. Thankfully Colletti is going to have to lean on Ng, Smith, and White for awhile.

posted by lilnemo at 01:44 PM on December 07, 2005

It is true that Grady is a good guy. He is not a bonehead, that is an allusion created in Red Sox Nation, which I am a member of. Also, I will respond to the post by ninkavshippo regarding my post. Well, I don't blame you for saying that the Dodgers had no chance at Beltre, you're right. It's like how the Yanks never got a chance to stop the Rocket from joining the Astros. I agree with you that Benjie is the best man for the job. However, I do not see Benjie as an option. I am saying Piazza is the best option, not the best man. By the way, Izturis has played his last game as a Dodger. I personally think the Dodgers hsould keep Kent at second, and get help or use Choi or Phillips at first. However, Kent will get moved to first. They will get help at second. Finally, about the bradley for Zito rumor. It's a hallucination, but one helluva good one. Wish it were rtue, don't think it is.

posted by Joe88 at 04:02 PM on December 07, 2005

Grady's brain cramps: Not just Pedro Grady has his apologists, naturally, those who think he got railroaded for one bad move. They point to his stellar minor league managerial record and his 188 wins in two seasons as Red Sox skipper. I totally agree that Grady should not be judged solely on what happened on the night of October 16, 2003. He should be judged also on all the mindless moves he made over the course of two seasons in Boston that contributed a. to a team with the 2-3 finishers in the Cy Young balloting missing the playoffs in 2002 and b. to a team with a solid starting staff and a record-setting lineup finishing six games behind the Yankees in 2003.

posted by justgary at 12:14 PM on December 08, 2005

Grady Little was an awful manager. He was like Jimy Williams with none of Jimy's redeeming qualities (e.g., smarts, ability to steal signs, old-timey sayings that didn't make sense). He was infuriating to watch. On the plus side, I dont' think you can really worry about any of his tendencies because he was pretty inconsistent too. But maybe he was being handled by the Red Sox brain trust. He and Jimy both seemed like they missed the extra managerial work that exists in the NL game; maybe a return to the NL will play dividends. But you couldn't pay me to watch.

posted by yerfatma at 07:41 AM on December 09, 2005

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